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President Barack Obama today addressed the disastrous launch of Idiot Republicans squandered an opportunity to focus laser-like on the fiasco by shutting down the government, but that doesn't obscure the fact that the rollout has been a problem for a party that promotes competent governance. Republicans like to argue that government is inherently broken., as launched, reinforces their narrative.

But you don't have to be conservative to be angry at the rollout. Yes, liberals believe that government is a powerful tool for improving the lives of people. But we don't believe in wanton waste of taxpayer dollars. Yet cost over $500 million (and counting) as the Canadian contractor overseeing the biggest chunk of the project has taken advantage of its open-ended contract to deliver a non-working product for ever-increasing rates:

The company [CGI] – the largest tech company in Canada with subsidiaries around the world – was initially awarded a $93.7m contract, but now the potential total value for CGI's work has reportedly tripled, reaching nearly $292m.
I won't absolve Republicans entirely for this mess, as it is their outsourcing fetish and hostility to government workers that have created a contractor culture that is fleecing the American taxpayers. But Republicans aren't in charge of Health and Human Services. Democrats are. And there were plenty of signs that CGI was generally incompetent, such as this:
Last year, the Canadian province of Ontario fired CGI and canceled a $46 million contract, accusing the company of failing to build an online medical registry on time.
By all means, please, bet the success of the most important Democratic initiative in decades on that company ...

Half a billion for a website is double what Facebook raised in investor capital before it went public. In technology terms, it's an obscene amount, and infinitely worse given what was delivered. Now, we're throwing more money at the same people who caused the problem to fix what never should've been broken to begin with.

For those of us who care about good governance, this situation is untenable. The site will be fixed, the law will ultimately be fine. But if Democrats stand for good, effective governance, there must be accountability for this mess—both against the contractors who screwed things up, and with the bureaucrats and administration officials that let the situation get to this point.

New, Improved Obamacare Program Released On 35 Floppy Disks
GOP went from "shut down govt to deny access to affordable care" to "we demand immediate glitch-free access to affordable care" pretty fast

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Comment Preferences

  •  There Are PR Problems With This, No Doubt (35+ / 0-)

    But Republicans have been spending the past 3 1/2 years maintaining that "Obamacare" would quickly bring about the downfall of western civilization and all they've got to gripe about is a poorly functioning website?

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:04:40 PM PDT

    •  That tweet at the bottom says a lot (38+ / 0-)

      We've gone from "end of the world" to "Why isn't this better?" in just a few weeks. Can you imagine Republicans having to shift gears in to the "We're going to make Obamacare rock!" party? Neither can I. They'll return to their hating once the bugs get ironed out.

      BTW, if they really gave a damn about their base they'd point out that one of the best rollouts happened in Kentucky -- the home of Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. If they we smart they'd demand KY's experience be made available nationally. If they were smart -- so you can be sure it won't happen.

      Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:10:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  those are 2 different issues (34+ / 0-)

      the republicans are complaining for politics.  that's what they do.

      but this company fucked us over big time.

      when you are paid over a hundred million for a WEBSITE then you saw off your leg to get it done ON TIME and WORKING!

      i was one to be patient and understanding about this until i found out how much money was being paid.  it's pure and utter bullshit that this website couldn't be running polished and smooth for that kind of money.  we got played by this company.

      i mean... it's a goddamn website.  a website.  the software i could develop with a hundred fucking million dollars.  i've been coding graphics and physics and ai for the last 8 years.  it's obscene that this much money was spent on this website in the first place, period.

      and it was paid to fucking Canada?  so, it wasn't even a jobs program.  the money just flushed out of the country.  awesome.  just awesome.

      •  My understanding is that (8+ / 0-)

        the company is Canada-based, but has offices in the U.S.

        So not entirely true that the money was just flushed out of the country.

      •  Jobs program (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nailed it.

        Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

        by randallt on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:24:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's what private companies do. (9+ / 0-)

        How many freaking times as progressives do we say private companies are often out to screw us...

        Apart from providing services companies also want to make sure they get the best bang for their buck...

        Somoeone from the government should have been monitoring this shit...

        As progressives we should not run away from owning problems. That's why we have the GOP. So do me a favor and place blame where the buck stops....fuckin O's admin...

        •  Most private firms aren't expert in Fed contracts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Part of the problem as I am hearing it is that some companies specialize in negotiating through the labyrinths of government red tape to win contracts. They may not be good at doing anything else, so then less than great companies wind up with most of the jobs. Competence in the service you provide is not an assurance of being very good at winning a contract if you're not experienced with that too. And most quick, cunning firms don't have the time or money to do so.

          This is another unsung problem with a lack of transparency in government. The whistleblowing and NSA fast and loose privacy intrusions are bad enough to begin with, but efficient government needs to have a level playing field for all potential contractors as well.

      •  Well you know, America doesn't have a tech (15+ / 0-)

        or internet industry with the qualifications to do the job. I mean, it's not we invented the fucking internet or anything (facepalm).

        Agree 100%. I can't even imagine where this money went. I would love a list of stockholders and lobbyists for this company to see who got rich from this. This stinks to high heaven.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:27:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and just to be clear about websites (9+ / 0-)

        they are ENTRY LEVEL coding work.  you don't even need a degree to be able to code websites.  they are the fast food of software development.  CHILDREN can make websites.  Grandma and Grampa can make websites.  when the tech bubble burst years ago and a shitload of 'website' programmers couldn't get a job, it was because they had such entry level programming skills.

        so, there's no excuse for this website not working.  this isn't about a difficult coding project.  this was a purely managerial fuck up.  

        brooklyn bad boy was right.  goddamn heads need to roll.  both at the software company(s) and in the government.  

        •  You are just about right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          At worst, this is a standard data collection business application.

        •  As a web developer... (18+ / 0-)

          Let me point out that websites are not that simple. Not anymore.

          Sure a child can bang out three pure HTML web pages, but that is not a modern website.

          There is a lot that goes into one of those, starting with a decent design, good information architecture, excellent database design, reporting and administrative interfaces, data exchanges and integrations to the N-th degree, etc, etc, etc. What the public sees is the tip of the iceberg, trust me.

          On the other hand, for a few million dollars, let alone few HUNDRED MILLION, you should have all of that.

          It's complicated, but it's not magic.

          •  A computer programmer I know is constantly talking (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yoduuuh do or do not, poligirl

            About programmers who build programs in the most complicated way possible to ensure "job security."  It drives him crazy when he is called in to "improve" the program.  Do web developers do the same thing?  Would a company with a $94 million contract "insist" its developers do so?

            Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

            by ranton on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:00:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  excellent comment. (0+ / 0-)

            It's certainly not about "coding", but far beyond that.  Systems integration and capacity planning for scalable architecture is more what this is about.  I'm a DBA myself and the many pieces are quite doable.  Complicated sure, but the know how for assembling the various elements is readily available.

            I also fault whoever on the federal side was responsible for setting deliverables and milestones with the consultants.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Before We join Hands w/ the GOP... (9+ / 0-)

          Stop this shit!

          This Website is for use by 36 states w/ many parts & pieces.  It's been only 2 weeks, but somehow ppl should be fired.

          I have worked in companies who paid consultants & techies millions for enterprises systems that did not work properly after a year.  They had to scrap the system & start again.

          I will not hate on ACA website or on HHS or PBO. Do you really think PBO or HHS wants to give the GOP any fodder for use to beat up ACA?

          Before beating me up, I'm not a techies so I didn't use the right terminology.  And, I do have a dog in this situation. I tried to sign up for the exchange & met w/ glitches. I will wait and try again.  

          What we should be bitching about is the fact that the GOP states refuse to set up exchanges & run their own sites.

          Remember: We plan to oust the Stupid Party in November 2014!

          by Crittersmith1 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:23:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree. I'd expect Kos's diary to be on Redstate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SingularExistence, kefauver

            Agree. Stop this shit. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.  Which is why Obama went in front of America today, to discuss solutions.

            "If they're shooting at you, you know you must be doing something right"

            by ayjaymay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:56:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because Red State is always blaming contractors... (9+ / 0-)

              ... And Asking for accountability from the people in government that they backed in elections. < eye roll >

              Just a useful piece of internet info here, and feel free to take it or leave it: Preview is not just for spell check and grammar.

              Not that kos really needs my help defending what he posts on his own site. Lol

              ePluribus Media
              Collaboration is contagious!

              by m16eib on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:17:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the advice. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I'll leave it.


                Cooler heads will prevail. And we have the coolest head in the White House.

                by ayjaymay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:48:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Is Kos even smearing the right company? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                CGI is just one of 55 contractors that worked on the system, interfaces, and external systems. Just because CGI had the largest part, it doesn't mean that the systems problems were solely its responsibility.  CGI was actually asked to fix another company's system problems:

                "CGI Federal, ... is responsible for the architecture of major parts of the system, but not for its integration. Quality Software Services Inc., or Q.S.S.I., a unit of the UnitedHealth Group, developed the identity management system, another major component that allowed consumers to register and establish accounts.

                The identity management system from Q.S.S.I., which also taps into government databases to retrieve users’ personal information, was a particular source of trouble when the exchange opened. Change orders show that on Oct. 4 — after millions of people had been trapped in technological loops trying merely to log in — the government asked CGI to help it devise a new identity management system to replace the one provided by Q.S.S.I. But specialists said that approach was abandoned as too risky. Ultimately it was decided to fix the current identity system."

                "One major problem slowing repairs, people close to the program say, is that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency in charge of the exchange, is responsible for making sure that the separately designed databases and pieces of software from 55 contractors work together. It is not common for a federal agency to assume that role, and numerous people involved in the project said the agency did not have the expertise to do the job and did not fully understand what it entailed. "


                Cooler heads will prevail. And we have the coolest head in the White House.

                by ayjaymay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:10:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Three weeks later after three years to (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, m16eib


              Which is why Obama went in front of America today, to discuss solutions.
          •  Not hating, but disappointed. And pragmatic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I want to stand up for the ACA system, (even though it's only going to be fractionally as efficient as a single payer system would be. Oh well....) And I'm sure the bugs will be worked out eventually.

            However, I do demand efficiency out of my government and I will bitch about it when things need fixing. And please see my other comments on this page as I acknowledge that part of the problem is structural in terms of how difficult it is supposed to be to win government contracts unless you focus a good part of your business on doing just that.

            If that is so, and I wouldn't be surprised, that's the thing that needs more fixing that the ACA.

          •  No, not really. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            m16eib, JesseCW
            It's been only 2 weeks,
            Today is not October 14.  Today's date is is October 21.  My math tells me it's three weeks.

            This site is currently in beta, period.  It should have never been released to the public until they got it right.  They never beta-tested it with the thousands of government computers they have.  

          •  "Hate on"? Do you think we're discussing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            American Idol contestants?

            "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

            by JesseCW on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 10:43:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Umm, there are web sites and there are web (5+ / 0-)


          Things have changed a bit since 1995.

          Putting together a web-based application and/or application portal is much more than  slapping together a little bit of HTML and CSS.  Many, many large web sites require work that goes well-beyond entry level programming.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:26:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This company employs a lot of H-1Bs and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton, yoduuuh do or do not

        sends a lot of coding to India.

        A disaster, to be sure.

        •  How do you know that? (0+ / 0-)
        •  How do you know this? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not necessarily saying I doubt what you said ('cause heaven knows too damned many tech companies are doing just that) but, these days, I tend to give little credence to assertions without some sort of back-up.

          I used to be a senior technical recruiter in Silicon Valley (including during the boom) so I've personally run in to the H1B problem.

          So, again, the question is:  how do you know this?

          It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

          by Eyesbright on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:20:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  very complicated issue (7+ / 0-)

        This is a very complicated issue and the reports about the contractor ripping us off are probably not quite true.  The contractor wasn't even given the go ahead until the Spring of this year for the major build.

        You have to remember, contractors are MANAGED by the government.  Ask them for a shitty product and you get a shitty product.  They will build you exactly what you ask them there is probably lots of blame to go around for the IT mess...and the short performance period also probably accounted for some of the problems.  

        They had to stand up a novel system that has a LOT going on in the background...and with other systems.  It is a complex system.   Google is huge, but it didn't start out that could benefit from spiral development processes...the ACA website(s) didn't have that luxury.

        And as others have pointed out this wasn't "paid to fucking Canada."  They US-based organization has its headquarters in the NoVA.  There were LOTS of other contractors involved.

        I went into science for the money and the sex. Imagine my surprise.

        by Mote Dai on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:02:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And we don't know how stable the specs were (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mote Dai

          If people kept making changes to them then that's another major source of cost overruns.

          The real culprits are whoever was in charge of the contract and the project itself (getting the specs done.)

        •  yeah, whomever didn't have them start before... (0+ / 0-)

          spring should be the first head to roll.

          "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

          by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:16:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Some very important mitigating factors (5+ / 0-)

        As noted in Ukit's diary on Kimberly Morgan's article in Foreign Affairs:

        It's far more complicated than it should be because it's a public-private hybrid.  Medicare or Medicaid are substantially easier to program.

        As cjo30080 reported in his reccommended diary, CGI only started coding this Spring, due to the slow delivery of specifications from the government.

        Shutdown, Schmutdown. Hey Teaparty, I got your funding right here!

        by filby on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:08:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That time frame is short, but $92 million? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, Karl Rover

          I'm sorry, but I could have gathered together a team of people I trust -- with the required skills -- to deliver a working site that could handle the traffic in that time.

          For a good deal less money.

          Somebody is wildly incompetent or dishonest.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:29:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I'd like to see the line items (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poligirl, dinotrac, GleninCA

            Someone(s) is billing at a very high rate. And that's in an industry that is normally high but I can't believe THAT high. Maybe I should put my resume in with them.

            •  Bet you're too good (read expensive) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              More than a few big shops hire a lot of cheap sweathop programmers and hand them a stylebook.

              The kind of people who can see a disaster like this before it blows up cost good money.

              Worth every penny to competent management.
              Not so much to hacks.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:27:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Relying on a private contractor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton, whaddaya

        was a colossal mistake on several levels.  

        The first concern is that the private contractor, or some of its employees, may attempt to sabotage the ACA by designing a failed website.  The company would take a hit, but for all we know they could have been paid a great deal of cash to keep from ever launching successfully.

        The second and probably greater concern is that by going with a private contractor, it ensures that the design and launch of the website is nothing more than a job to those doing it.  If the administration had hired a team of progressive coders and h4XX0rs to build the website, they would have been working for more than a paycheck, and it would have shown in the results.  Their egos would have been tied to the success of the website, which along with their progressive idealism would have created a potent ambition to perform at their very best.

        Yet another advantage to hiring the coders directly is that it would have made them directly responsible for any fuckups.  Now it's just a nameless corporation that's reponsable.  

        Of course the final reason is that it would have been cheaper to design the website in house.  It may have taken a bit longer since a team would have to be put together, but there's been plenty of time since ACA was passed.  No doubt they would have been overwhelmed by how many experienced coders would have jumped at the chance to put together a team to design this website.  

        Ultimately it was a chance to reverse the trend of outsourcing government.  An executive branch web design department could have been created that was responsible for keeping all government websites up and running.  Instead they outsourced it for big bucks and the failure will be blamed on "big government".  What a farce.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:10:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tied hands (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RainyDay, worldlotus

          The government can't pay the programmers, project managers, product managers what they are worth because....budgets, antiquated salary schedules, etc. But, for whatever reason, paying a vendor even more is considered good business practice.

          As a developer, I wouldn't work for the government at this point. At least not until we get rid of the bozos in the house.

      •  Please. You sound like a republican (0+ / 0-)

        Read some of the more responsible diaries and comments about the posted prior to Kos' rant

        "If they're shooting at you, you know you must be doing something right"

        by ayjaymay on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:59:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, to be fair, (6+ / 0-)

        this isn't some blog or kittyporn site like schoolkids and granny could put up. This is a whole system of interrelated services, necessarily highly interactive, under strong security constraints, and on top of that, connecting massive amounts of data in a coherent way. Granny couldn't build an Amazon or ebay or google site any more than they could build this one.

        But you're right that, given the money and the resources, this saga is absolutely inexcusable. The big mistake/incompetency was putting this in the hands of a private company to develop with proprietary code that now they, the ones who totally screwed it up, are the only ones able to (maybe) fix it. Unfortunately pols on every ideological side are too in love with the "public/private paradigm" bullshit to let it go, no matter how predictably disastrous it the outcome will be.

      •  However, I've heard there is nothing else like it (4+ / 0-)

        It needs to retrieve all kinds of records from the IRS, from the states, and a number of other agencies immediately in a way that has never been done before. And that assumes no problems with those other sources computer records.

        On the other hand I believe I heard this from one of the architects of the plan so I don't know how true all that is and how much he may have been covering his ass.

        Does anyone have any idea if, as he claims, this is the most complex system of its size to exist?

      •  i think one of my biggest questions is: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AntonBursch, gooderservice, whaddaya

        why on earth didn't they test the shit outta this before they released it?

        when i worked in that industry, we tested and tested and tested and tested and tested til the big bugs were out. sure there will always be smaller bugs in a release, but some of these. what were they thinking?

        i'm wondering if they tested much at all. given my 3 (so far) futile attempts. the thing has a *lot* of glitches. the live chat lady couldn't help me at all, and the phone folks even got a supervisor when they couldn't help and told me to try again next week. i think i'll give it more time than that. i'm human but it's been so bad on this end i've been frustrated almost to tears.

        "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

        by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe they should have used the same people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when had a tax caculator to show how much money would be saved in taxes.

    •  problem is, these aren't just PR problems. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

      by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:05:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  * "CHo-POO" * ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:05:03 PM PDT

  •  I wish the DKos tech team got that contract . (9+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:05:14 PM PDT

  •  but it's 500 million lines of code (13+ / 0-)

    according to the NYT

    If that's right, it's terrifying.  They'll awaken the old ones with that much code.

  •  Making a MOUNTAIN out of a molehill (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing to see here.  This'll be forgotten soon.

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:05:35 PM PDT

  •  I hope not only CGI is working to fix this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    “The meaning of life is to find it.”

    by ArcticStones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:05:56 PM PDT

  •  cgi only got 6 months to design & test the website (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, filby, flynnieous

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:06:51 PM PDT

    •  Ain't it friggin' hilarious that the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell, filby, 714day, wsexson

      Same government that is giving the 7.1 million uninsured here in California  a mere  three months to sign up for the state exchange, also selected a totally crappy platform that will run the show?

      At the rate of sign up, by end of 2016 we will have 70% of all the uninsured in California on board.

      Meanwhile Gov Brown and the state legislature have cut the health care side of the Califonia budget by a significant amount. That means the state is that much more reliant on the Federal Government's monies, which are going to be precariously doled out as time goes on.

      This last government shut down lasted a few weeks. But as time goes on, will it get worse?

      Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

      by Truedelphi on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:13:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There was discourse re this at Saturday's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falconer520, CoyoteMarti

        L.A. Kossack meet. One of our own (Shockwave) is a big proponent of single payer but has managed much enthusiasm for Obamacare as a stepping stone toward that end. He is active in several advocacy groups pursuing better healthcare coverage. His enlightened contribution to the conversation brought up all that you speak of and more. Included was the fact that we have only 850 navigators in the state (many of whom are brokers) and could probably use around 10,000. Long wait times on the telephone (hour or more) may produce answers to questions that retard/stop online application, but may not.
        Also, I thought I was already signed up. Uh, no. Back to the drawing board. A glitch has me applying for multiple policies. Waiting on the phone brings the response that I should delete all current business and start again.
        These are more than little glitches. There is righteous concern that Republicans will have legitimate ammunition if it isn't even remotely convenient for tens of millions to apply and be processed, let alone if it is a daunting obstacle to do so. It jeopardizes not only the mandate but the workability of the program which relies on great numbers coming aboard.

        •  Sorry to hear that you have been signed up (0+ / 0-)

          For multiple policies.

          I have really become frightened of all the digitilization of our health insurance and health care records.

          I got billed by Kaiser for a medicine that was not issued for me. It was a minor amount of money, maybe five bucks, but that is not the point. And a doctor in a different specialty asked me if I was indeed taking said medicine.  Lucky for me he did ask - what if he prescribed an inferior though  needed medicine, but one that interacts less harmfully with the un-needed med?

          The full  implications of this are serious - if the "computer system" tells physicians that I am on a med, and I become unconscious and a patient  in a ward of the hospital, will this medicine be administered, even though unneeded?

          No longer with Kaiser, but the local hospital has goofed on me twice due to "computer records" that are in error.

          And many physicians treat this computer record like it is God.

          Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

          by Truedelphi on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:47:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This shouldn't have been a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, falconer520, mdmslle

    difficult application to develop.  A number of states have built and set up similar web based apps, although on a much smaller scale and don't have the same issues.

    Question is, how much of the coding has CGI outsourced to other countries to code?  There is the source of the problem.

    •  To be sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, WisVoter

      The states have to rely on some parts of the Federal site, IIRC, in order to validate eligibility.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:21:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know how many web-sites you have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      integrated, but I've done more than  a few and am very willing to accept that this was a difficult job, especially in the timeframe.

      But -- that's why you hire professionals.  Anybody can do the easy stuf.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:44:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who accepted the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Contract and who didn't deliver?  I'm not saying this would be an easy implementation, what I am saying is the Service Provider is inept.

        For the record I have worked in IT in one capacity or another for 36 years.

        •  I may have misunderstood you. (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, some provider of some service in this whole deal is inept.  That leaves it the fault of the primary contractor, however, as the primary contractor generally takes responsibility for integration and doing what it takes to insure that the system as a whole will work.

          I'm a couple of years shy of you in professional IT experience though I did work for some very good outfits along the way and even earned patents for my contributions.

          If we can cheat a bit to include non-professional experiece, I did write my first programs (in Fortran) nearly 45 years ago, courtesy of my high school's paper-tape workstation with an accoustic coupled modem to the IBM 360 at Rutgers.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:23:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to be working now. I'd (11+ / 0-)

    focus on getting people signed up rather than getting caught up in glitch nonsense.  

    •  I've heard that every day since the 1st... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

      by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:31:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  still not working for me. everyone here keeps... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falconer520, wsexson, splintersawry

        saying it's working now, as they have been for a couple weeks.

        i wish it worked.

        "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

        by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:22:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I share your frustration... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, whaddaya

          My biggest complaint is all those that say; "I just signed up in Oregon the website worked fine."

          Oregon setup its own website, it works... AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH

          A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

          by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:39:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, i'm in Louisiana, working for a little more (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            than minimum wage, and i have preexistings. i'm screwed no matter what way you look at it. sigh...

            "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

            by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:11:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  After the first week when they made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      changes, I didn't have any problem logging in and I'm from one of the states that has the federal government doing the exchange.

      I deal with glitches all the time when I'm using a computer. I don't see what the big deal is.

      When people show you who they are, believe them. --Maya Angelou

      by xndem on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:24:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So who at CGI (0+ / 0-)

    is related to who in the Dept of Health & Human Services?  Inquiring minds want know.

  •  Should have just called Blizzard (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, every World of Warcraft expansion has glitches when it first goes live.  But they know their servers are going to be slammed within 10 seconds of launch, and they handle it.  And the second patch usually fixes it, within 12 hours of launch.

    Or Amazon.  Or Facebook.  Lots of commercial entities that know how to handle massive traffic spikes.

    "Where has Big Government ever gotten us?" " Mars."

    by On Puget Sound on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:08:48 PM PDT

    •  It's not the spikes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      countrycat, Eyesbright

      it's the backend connections to various other sites, all of which will be different, and need high level security, many of which might be running legacy software or on slower machines that can't handle the traffic.

      It's not the front end that's the problem, it's the back.

      And Amazon and Facebook aren't NEARLY as complex. Or built in a few months. They've been around for years.

  •  NASCAR.COM (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrganizedCrime, Deep Texan, Egalitare

    is a horribly run website.

    Did their fans stop using the product?

    Did they stop going to races or stop buying Dale Earnhardt Jr. bobble-heads?

    •  in this case we don't even have access to sign (0+ / 0-)

      up for the product.

      "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

      by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:24:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The people who aren't enthused about buying ins. (5+ / 0-)

    are the people who we need to buy in and they can be deterred by a difficult to use website.  It's not much but those types don't NEED much to just chuck it.

    "One faction of one party in one House of Congress in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."

    by Inland on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:10:13 PM PDT

  •  Does Federal Gov have any good coders? Not likely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know a lot of coders, the really good ones don't work for the Leviathan (AKA Federal Government)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up!

    by Churchill on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:10:20 PM PDT

  •  i didn't think it was so horrible (5+ / 0-)

    that it rose to the level of 'fiasco' - there were a few problems mostly due to traffic, but I haven't experienced any difficulties after Week 1.  And clearly hundreds of thousands of people have managed to overcome the 'glitches' - I agree with the person above who said this will be forgotten soon, except maybe by Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:10:33 PM PDT

  •  I'll give them another month to fix it up, cause (0+ / 0-)

    that's when people will really be trying to buy insurance for January 1st.

  •  LOL to The Onion (12+ / 0-)

    I'll bet that some readers cannot conceive of the time when programs came on floppies.

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:10:45 PM PDT

  •  Apologist posting in 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. (8+ / 0-)

    Tell us how it was hard, they didn't have enough time, no website functions on roll-out, etc ... Blah, Blah, Blah

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:11:17 PM PDT

    •  I don't know if I'm an apologist (10+ / 0-)

      But I will note that big technology roll-outs are indeed difficult and almost never work properly from Day One.

      That being said, while the initial roll-out was predictably problematic, it would be prudent to note that because there are three months built into the timeline before anyone is going to lose out on participation, there's time to work on the fixes. Who is helping to get people insured, and who's throwing sand into the gears?

      No, nobody should be happy about this, but there is time to fix it. If folks like our good friends in the popular media can't help, at least they could show a little patience. Remember, these are the same corporate geniuses who canceled "Firefly" and "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." and let "Lost" totter on to its bitter end.

      •  I hardly ever watch tv, but I'll (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        never forgive them for canceling Firefly.

        "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        by SottoVoce on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:49:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dec 15th is the deadline... 55 days... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

        by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:01:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I stand corrected (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In which case, I still say the proper response is due concern along with some pressure to get it right. The popular media reports I've seen over the last couple of days seem to swing between utter despair and smirking "told ya so," both of which lead to inaction and discouragement for anyone trying to make this magilla work.

          •  The problem is ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            countrycat, poligirl

            Every time I try to walk a family member/friend through signing up it doesn't work... My response each time is let's give it another week and try again.

            Hearing false claims of IT'S WORKING! and then trying again only to get stuck in a new part of the process is what is discouraging. They should take it down work on it for a week and put it back up.

            A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

            by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:24:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Depending on the state (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Karl Rover

              Several states have set up their own exchanges and online sign-up is proceeding in those states, but a lot of states have refused to do anything that might help their citizens take advantage of this program*. Depending on the state, your friends and relatives might be better served contacting their state health departments directly, rather than going on-line.

              Going off-line for a week might not be a bad idea for the federal sign-up site. And the sooner that decision is enacted, the better.

              *Curiously, these 26 states have either Republican governors or Republican-controlled state legislatures. Which I'm pretty sure is a big, fat coincidence. Strangely, though, Kentucky is doing pretty well signing up its citizens by all accounts I've seen, and it's surely another coincidence of cosmic proportions that its governor is a Democrat.

      •  Given that funding for this project was, to say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the least, adequate,this thing is a big stinking bomb.

        Given how slowly it's being fixed, I would bet the code is every bit as bad as the coders seem to be.

        There is time to fix it. Can these yahoos do the job?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:50:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I'm an apologist. (8+ / 0-)

      I used to analyze the IT industry. I know that Citigroup spends more than $3 billion (pdf) each year just to keep their systems current.

      Roughly 5-10% of the US GDP is going to eventually pass through this website. There will be millions of users.

      $500 million is bargain-basement pricing. We will be in for a $billion before it is done and we will have to spend hundreds of millions each year to keep it rolling.

      Still cheaper than sending millions to the emergency room, though.

    •  I want this to work... And it will. (6+ / 0-)

      But to keep saying the website works as best as could be expected and that it is not reasonable to expect it to function given the parameters of its development is delusional.

      The website is a small part of the ACA, but it is the main point of public interaction with the ACA. And it needs to work now.

      A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

      by falconer520 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:00:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed it is a fiasco (11+ / 0-)

    No one should minimize this fiasco.
    Any company knows that developing the product is just 1/2 the job. Distribution and marketing are also key. If you've got a great product, but you can't get it to the customer, your company will fail.
    So the performance of the ACA website is key to the entire ACA.

    It is a very complicated website, but we have to get it right.
    (and fixing systems on the fly is not that easy)

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:11:20 PM PDT

  •  thank you, thank you, thank you (12+ / 0-)

    For saying what needs to be said.  We're the party that believes government CAN and SHOULD work.  And we demand accountability when it doesn't.

    But, since October 1, people at dKos who pointed out the site's problems, poor implementation, apparent lack of testing, and failure to do the job we spent hundreds of millions on have been shouted down, ridiculed (for example, told to have sex while we're on hold; it might make us feel better), and essentially instructed to "clap louder" so Fox News doesn't get wind of the problem.

    Newsflash:  even those goofballs can see the rollout was a PR disaster that was only mitigated by Ted Cruz's vanity shutdown.

    I'm a strong supporter of the ACA and would have infinitely preferred single payer.  But the ACA is what we have, what we spend half a BILLION on, and damn it.  the Web site should WORK.

    Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

    by countrycat on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:12:05 PM PDT

    •  talked to the CSR folks just now.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karl Rover, Dvalkure

      I called just now and explained my "endless loop" problem where I'm sent to "shop" for plans, but then sent back to "complete" my application except the page is sends me to says my application is complete and sends me back to "shop."

      Sandra, the very nice representative (they all are, in my experience - they got the CSR stuff RIGHT on that part), says that the site will be down today and tomorrow - and maybe Wednesday - while they try to tame this beast. People trying to shop for most of this week may be locked out or get bizarre "looping" errors like mine.

      I'm going to wait until Friday and try again & if you have people who are considering starting the process now, it might be prudent - and less frustrating - for them to wait a few days. The issues now aren't load on the front-end servers: they've handled that problem. What they're dealing with now is database integration whereby they hit IRS to get your financials to calculate your credit (if any) and then pull the info in from the insurance plans, etc. etc. etc.

      So feel free to do the "front end" shopping and get estimates. That's where you don't have to supply personal info; but wait to actually sign in and start your application.

      Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

      by countrycat on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:34:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Took me all of 2 minutes (12+ / 0-)

    To sign up on My Healthy Vet (VA portal).

    Very easy sign up and reasonable navigation. Maybe they should have seen what could have been extracted from it.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:12:42 PM PDT

  •  Stoopid foreigners (10+ / 0-)

    Should have hired American teenagers. (PS I got my ACA (National Exchange) policy in the mail today! Saving $1500 next year. Yea me! Thank you Mr. President!)

    "no more hurting people - peace" Martin William Richard

    by EquityRoy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:12:47 PM PDT

  •  Nane changed to Benghazicare in 3, 2, 1 ... (6+ / 0-)

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Quit it with the "Canada" bit (8+ / 0-)

    As has been pointed out, many many many times, CGI is, these days, a multinational that just happens to be headquartered in Montreal, and that it has several thousand employees in the US.

    Putting the emphasis on the "Canada" part is a cheap-assed pointless shot, trying to claim that is ain't American, therefore it's crap.  It's like claiming that problems at a Chrysler plant in Michigan are because the company is owned by Fiat.

  •  Excellent, honest assessment (6+ / 0-)

    of a major clusterfuck.   Heads should roll.

  •  I had no problems... (14+ / 0-)

    ...One thing I found was I HAD to use internet explorer.  Once I did so, it worked flawlessly, got set up in under 30 minutes, and spent a day looking over plans.

    I set up in NC (wonst options of anywhere) with $183/mo for medical and dental, and I'll add VSP for $16/mo and have vision privately.  so for $200 I'll have helath insurance, dental, and vision

    Steep, but way, way better than nothing at all

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:16:52 PM PDT

  •  Let's have a media firestorm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, Sylv

    Publicity is publicity.  The more talk about, the more of the uninsured will try for themselves to see what the fuss is about.

  •  No excuses at all. Fuck. 500 million is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, falconer520, poligirl

    ridiculous. This is not a difficult site to build. Come on, for fuck's sake.

    I'm not sure what can be done in terms of accountability besides firing their asses, though.

  •  Some of the problem signing up are due to our (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, MRA NY, Eyesbright

    personal computers. Just saw the first person to sign up in Oregon. When she followed instructions to clear her cookies and etc. She was able to go through the entire process. So why not someone with money setup clean computer for the public. Like computer cafes? I am sure many people have problems with old files and cookies tying up their computers and the process. I wish she had stated what operation system she used. I heard SAFARI worked. Then again, they could contact windows explorers and others to prompt their users to make the necessary corrections.

  •  There once was a time (11+ / 0-)

    when something called a Democratic Party would've had the government manage the processes by itself rather than hire a contractor.

    That time is something of a distant memory.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:22:21 PM PDT

  •  When one analyzes the complexity of this system (6+ / 0-)

    even from a high altitude personally I'm amazed it works at all let alone that some folks have made it all the way through the process.

    Since the requirements couldn't be finalized until the Supremes decided summer of 2012 and the system resized to accommodate  all the GOP controlled states who at the last minute gave the FU to this effort.

    The Federal site was just supposed to catch the folks who fell through the cracks.

    As pointed out elsewhere these CGI folks built some of the state exchanges and they seem to be running Kentucky IIRC.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:22:54 PM PDT

  •  Let's not forget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As always, how soon they forget.

  •  the toy doesn't work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, PsychoSavannah, zapus



    (From someone who hasn't forgotten how to use a telephone and talk to someone.)

    cheerleaders need not apply.

    by kravitz on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:24:27 PM PDT

  •  they screwed up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, PsychoSavannah, Eyesbright

    now when they say:

    rollout has been a problem
    we can counter with:
    republicans shut the government down, what do you expect?
    They wanted to stop Obamacare.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:24:33 PM PDT

  •  I logged on to and all I got was (10+ / 0-)

    a video of Rick Astley singing. Is this normal?

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:24:48 PM PDT

  •  I'd HR the developers if they posted here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, mdmslle, Sylv

    HR on sight.

    HR on site.



    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:25:00 PM PDT

  •  We should have hired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Amazon or ebay. Even though they are bloodsuckers at least they are competent...

  •  I've tried registering. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It tells me that I can't use the same answer for my verification questions.

    Except I'm not.

    I'm never sure if I've forgotten and left the lid up, or if InvisObama™ is using the loo.

    by The Gryffin on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:27:47 PM PDT

  •  I still Support ACA! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, JML9999, schnecke21

    and this baffles me...
    1) Why didn't we hire an American company?
    2) What was the process for choosing this company?
    3) Why are we paying more to get it fixed when it should have been working in the first place?  (if I buy I car and I can't drive it off the lot, I don't pay to get the car fixed.)
    4) I sure hope they hold these folks accountable.  There are a ton of storylines that can get shifted IF/WHEN we start holding folks accountable.

    •  These folks apparently already had a contract (0+ / 0-)

      with HHS to provide Web/IT services.

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:37:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no bid contract, only contractor even considered (0+ / 0-)

      to answer your 2nd question. The "process"? Here, take this job and do it

      •  thank you... (0+ / 0-)

        I meant the process of choosing... but you've answered that too.

        very inefficient.  If I were in DC... and even in a no bid situation I would have a list of 7 or more tech developers and I would get bids from the one's I thought could handle the job.  I'm an office manager... I could've handled this easy, even with no immediate background.

        time to upgrade the process, people!

  •  This mess is on President Obama. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sure, Republicans are evil douchebags. But that's kind of a red herring here.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:31:38 PM PDT

  •  A lot of this could have been avoided (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EquityRoy, DaveW, HCKAD

    If they had just expanded an already existing and proven cost-effective health care coverage program: Medicare.

    Instead, they had to involve private health insurance companies offering all sorts of different policies, subsidies for some people, based on income, so you had to create a layer of bureaucracy to determine individuals' eligibility, 50 states and other local gov'ts, of which 36 states relinquished their responsibility for setting up exchanges so that the feds had to do the work, etc., etc.

    We went through this before with the byzantine Medicare Part D system, so it was easily predictable that there would be problems. This is why so many of us argued for a single-payer plan when this was all being legislated, but we had to take what we could get, and so we have an unnecessarily complicated system that is easily fouled up when so many variables are at play.

  •  Not to worry. Senator McInsane has called (0+ / 0-)

    for hearings into the disaster. Now when it was Abu Ghraib or Operation Shocking and Awful, McInsane was nowhere to be found. What a douche.

    But, yeah, Obama could easily get out in front of this by firing a few people like the Secretary of HHS.

  •  These comparisons are tricky... (5+ / 0-)

    Looking at the source for 500 million, there is a lot of speculation in that number. We should be careful throwing around these big numbers before there is hard data. It might be more but it might also be less.

    Also, what is attempted here is much more difficult than building facebook or twitter. Here it is necessary to build a database that can talk to a myriad of other databases on the back end. A lot of this work probably has to do with figuring out the total architecture across the whole system, including federal, state, private players and potentially millions of users. Unlike in facebook and twitter, there is no opportunity to iterate and learn while the system is developing. It all has to be ready day one. Nothing like a business startup actually. No possibility for a beta or for experimental versions developed through user feedback.

    Remember also that unlike in the private sector, no one will work in part for options or promises of wealth upon success. In that sense, it is necessary to spend a lot more up front to get the job done because there is no payoff at the end through options or profit sharing for producing a winning project.  Also, unlike a private project, it is necessary to accommodate the needs of multiple competing bureaucracies.

    Finally, it is clear that the project is having problems, but it is also partially working. To the extent that it has worked, those funds have not been wasted. The right will attempt to suggest that the ENTIRE project is a failure based on the evidence that there is a partial failure. That is not accurate.

    The only thing required for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

    by DavidMCastro on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:36:31 PM PDT

  •  I THINK WE SHOULD BE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Spreading all the other ways to sign up for now we can get mad at the president because government bureaucracy is slow but that bureaucracy is all we have and I think the president has ample incentive to get this fixed but us as the laws supporters we have to tell people how they can sign up because you can sign up by phone and by mail So yes it needs to be fixed but like the president said obamacare isn't a website

    " Pain is the cracking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Its bitter potion your inner physcians uses to heal its sick self.

    by itsnotmyfault on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:40:19 PM PDT

    •  "Ample incentive" (0+ / 0-)

      for the President?  What would that be?  He won't be facing any further reelection.  His relationship with corporate America, guaranteeing him a well-compensated post presidency is more than secured by his role in establishing neoliberalism as the unchallenged hegemony within the Democratic Party.  So what is this "incentive" of which you speak?

      “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

      by ActivistGuy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:03:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Triple B (0+ / 0-)

    "Should have been an app"

    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:46:23 PM PDT

  •  Apparently, talking points have been rolled out. (9+ / 0-)

    This is all MSNBC and Ezra Klein have been talking about all day. They've ignored the solutions already put in place to address the issue - site fixes already implemented, more staffers on phone lines, a plan to call every single person who is stuck in the enrollment process after sign-up and work to resolve situation, etc. The site is already working better than it was last week, but let's ignore that because it doesn't fit the talking points

    This is just like the Denver debate fiasco where liberal pundits overreaction drove the narrative that Obama lost and Romney surged. Liberals are pushing the ACA is a failure because of website much harder than any Republican or conservative pundit.  

    President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

    by askew on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:47:43 PM PDT

  •  Well, CGI had to be good- Canada fired them, and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we all know Canada can't do anything right in Healthcare, so obviously CGI is good! Right???

  •  I have no tech / programming background (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so feel free to ignore this.

    BUT every company I ever worked for that rolled out a new computer program had big problems at the beginning.  The worst was at an insurance company with a new claims paying program.  They called it NewStar - we called it the Death Star.  It eventually helped drive the company to bankruptcy and 2 employees died from stress induced heart attacks.

  •  You all have your talking points now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle

    Off to scour the internet, First Read, Forbes, Huffington, etc.  You know what to do.

     Copy + Paste

    Repeat after me:

    "It was the contractor's fault"  

    •  Company insurance? (0+ / 0-)

      Or did "your people" handle this for you?

      I'm recently disabled.  I just went through signing up for Romneycare 5 months ago.  It wasn't easy, but at least entries entered, pages didn't duplicate or disappear, clicks and commands registered.  Cmon, angelfire sites were better than that!  And that's what I have to deal with, because for some reason the Mass. health care for disabled people is being wiped out and we all have to start from scratch, under penalty of law and fear of being sick and having vanishing coverage.  And I can hardly see a damn thing, my main disability is major vision loss.  Yeah, I'm just pulling soime fucking right-wing stunt here because I've got nothing better to do.  Right.

      “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

      by ActivistGuy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:19:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I discovered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, CoyoteMarti

    that because I'm disabled, my health plan in Mass. won't simply migrate from Romneycare to Obamacare.  Instead, the CommonwealthCare HMO plan I'm in is being wiped out.  That means I have to start from scratch.  I managed, with some effort, to get an account set up.  The next step, getting a plan, was totally catastrophic.  The web operativity would be minimally acceptable if this was 1994 on Prodigy.  Horrible, just horrible.  Commands don't function, pages disappear or duplicate, one undefined term after another appears.  And this is just to set up the informational page!  Here I am, disabled by massive vision loss, and the law insists that I make these changes, that my vital health coverage is being wiped out for no discernable reason.  And of course, trying to do this online, because you and I know what happens when you call a government office ("All our agents are currently busy, estimated holding time, 45 minutes.")  And the local "nvigator" happens to be an area health center that obviously is going to try to steer people to itself.  I have an extenssive network, from my PCP through numerous specialist that are familiar with my case, care and treatment plan.  How do I try to maintain this networl that was 95% intact under Romneycare, now that CommonwealthCare for the disabled is being torched? (just 5 monthjs after I went through setting it up.)  The whole damned thing is a completely NEEDLESS horror show, imposed by government action, but I'm left totally on my own to deal with it.  And that sounds very much like the fundamental contradiction in 21st century neoliberal governance.

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:58:57 PM PDT

    •  So sorry to hear about all this. But DO consider (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      calling. I called the ACA site today and had almost no wait time for a rep and they have access and more knowledge of work-arounds. Was so much less stressful that the website.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

      by CoyoteMarti on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:43:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  there's nothing wrong with outsourcing this to (0+ / 0-)

    a contractor, I wouldn't want the government designing a website. But there has to be oversight and accountability, competent project mgmt, during the project - not after, and this is what gov't doesn't seem to be able to get a handle on

  •  It works better every day. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, kefauver, Dvalkure

    I get further every time I go there.  I'm not complaining.

    A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon. -Bill Clinton

    by PSzymeczek on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:04:23 PM PDT

    •  NPR Reported Better News Today. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They said that it is much easier to register now as long as you do it during non-peak hours, which is an improvement over the first two weeks.

      I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

      by kefauver on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:55:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some people getting through and completing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    their signups, is a sign the problems aren't that complicated, but only take manual scanning (millions of lines) to make healthcare.Gov is compatible to all operating systems and individual personal computers problems like cookies, etc. The cleaner your personal computer, the better chance you have completing the process.

    Oh, just because there are 5million line doesn't mean they have to make changes in every line. They simply SCAN the lines. May only find a problem here and there every 1000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 lines.

  •  What's a floppy disc? (0+ / 0-)

    So, we had to extrapolate purely on the basis of your anatomy. You’re quite complicated, Sir. - UID 16382

    by glb3 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:11:23 PM PDT

  •  Oh how beautiful it would be, to learn the system (0+ / 0-)

    is working in the middle of the (can't wait to find something to jump on) republican glitch hearings next week.

    •  It does work, sort of (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, I did succeed in signing up. But it doesn't provide any help, you have to figure out next steps, and find where to do them yourself.

      Phone support is almost impossible to reach. Live Chat won't take you past "check your spam folder" and "the site has issues, try checking back at non-peak hours." Just don't expect them to divulge any info about WHAT would be useful hours to try. Not on their script, they're not authorized to say anything about that, one of them informed me.

      Live Chat isn't allowed to know any personal info, so they really can't go much past "Have you checked your Spam Folder?"

      But it is all there, despite being very poorly put together. It took much of the weekend, and some elevated adrenalin levels followed by an anger hangover. But I did succeed in signing up.

      I think so, anyhow. Will know for sure once I check with Blue Cross to see if I'm in there system. Supposedly, all I have left to do is pay the first premium in advance.

      Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

      by Land of Enchantment on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is one argument I cannot win with my rw family (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    falconer520, Cpqemp, splintersawry

    I cannot say oh, a Canadian outfit was picked because we knew they could do a better job than anyone here at a lower are right I got no answer.  It sucks.  

    It is really kind of shocking to me that it has been as bad as it has, considering what is at stake.

  •  The website may be disappointing so far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, kefauver, rennert

    But, really, must liberals use words like "disastrous" and "fiasco" which will just get bandied about on the right and come back to bite as. As in, " even Moulitsos calls the ACA a fiasco. "  Come on!
    Obama obviously gets the gravity if the situation. The website can and will be fixed.  Throwing tantrums will not help.

    •  McCain and Rubio Already Use "Fiasco" . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rennert, madronagal

      To describe the rollout.

      It's sad that Markos must use the same terminology.

      It's bad, but not a fiasco.

      I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

      by kefauver on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:53:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. I'm very disappointed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In the reaction of some of the left punditry. It's like they just can't wait to pile on. Joan Walsh had a great article about this foolishness (Salon).
        Watching all these progressives falling all over themselves to tell Obama how bad the website is would be hilarious if it weren't so destructive.

  •  500 million LOC??? (0+ / 0-)

    Slate reports that the website is 500 million LOC. That is just an incredible number. Slate says 5 times a bank, but that must include huge amounts of bank processing. The right comparison is to sites like Esurance or Redfin. I imagine they have less than a million lines of custom code.

    It seems highly likely that these contractors were paid by the line; mediocrity works that way. California DMV had years of failed computer upgrades that probably could have been done by a team of undergrads as an honors project.

    Major firings would improve things starting with Sebelius.

  •  Sebelius for VP, kos? (0+ / 0-)

    Again, WTF were you thinking??

  •  It's fucked up, no question (0+ / 0-)

    I spent the weekend signing up, because I'm eligible for a subsidy. I'll be getting improved coverage for reduced cost. Works for me. It can be done! (Yes we can?)

    But the website makes it hard, no question. Best I can tell, everything you need is there. But you have to go looking, step after step, because it doesn't lead you anywhere. When you finish entering info, and click the button to enter it, it doesn't give you a report of result. (Fail, please wait, something's missing, what comes next.) It's there if you look for it.

    If you run into a serious snag, there's not any assistance available. That's Hobbs' problem: it created an account, but then wouldn't let him log back into it. He's been on the pre-existing condition plan, which is ending, folded into the exchanges. I heard the President say, this morning, that has "navigators" listed, who can help in person. Search for them by zip code. He'll likely have to go that way to sign up, unless we can figure out a way to penetrate the obstacles to logging into his account.

    The messaging is dumb, too. The notices are there, and they'll email you to tell you there's a message waiting for you. But there's no link to take you to your messages, so you have to wander around to find them.

    The whole thing could use a dashboard-like interface with status and relevant links. Like Daily Kos has, like FaceBook has. For that matter, how the Obama Campaign website had.

    That's the worst thing, the contrast between ObamaForAmerica and

    Somebody wasn't paying attention who should have been paying attention. And I have a sneaking suspicion that those involved in actually making the website didn't really want to work, active or passive sabotage. No way to know, I suppose.

    Not the kind of thing the development team's going to want to proudly display on their resumés, though. That's for sure!!

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:55:42 PM PDT

  •  Aagreed (with a few cautions). (0+ / 0-)

    The fatal error by Sebelius and the administration was going live with a system that didn't work. It wasn't fully tested if tested at all. They should have delayed it, yes delayed it.

    Also, I'd be very careful pointing fingers at contractors/partners. Exposing dirty laundry will only expose Team Obama to additional controversy. I wouldn't go there.

    If it is shown that we were warned that it wasn't ready for prime time, and released it, anyway, shame on us.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:06:11 PM PDT

  •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

    Has anyone heard whether there have been any Denial of Service attacks on the site?

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:09:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm shocked. (0+ / 0-)

    kos calls out both sides here.


  •  Amen! the site has made me frustrated to tears (0+ / 0-)

    teh 3 times i've made the attempt. and that includes time spent on live chat and a phone call where they even had to ask the supervisor questions. and i'm still not able to get past teh subsidy part.

    it's got some huge bugs.

    "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." ~George Orwell "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." ~Charles Beard

    by poligirl on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:44:57 PM PDT

  •  I covered this at length in a diary (0+ / 0-)

    Others in the business have also identified basic, fundamental problems with the website that professionals honestly wouldn't let happen.

    I also proposed a solution, but I don't think Obama heard me.

  •  "The site will be fixed" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The code has to be completely rewritten.

    This is NOT a glitch.  I repeat, this is NOT a glitch.

    And as Thom Hartmann said today, paraphrasing and I can't remember the numbers, the cost of the shutdown could have paid for like 40 sites -- THAT'S THE Party talking point.

    And Robert Gibbs was right.

  •  ProPublica posted this: (0+ / 0-)

    Addington's perpwalk? TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes. @Hugh: There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.

    by greenbird on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:01:44 PM PDT

  •  Al Jazzera reported (0+ / 0-)

    that the administration is now bringing in outside experts, but they said nothing about the website having been built by a foreign company with a reputation for failure.

    Like I said in another post, outsourcing is the worst of both worlds:  if it works, the company gets credit and more contract in the future.  If it fails, the administration gets the blame and the company gets more contracts elsewhere.  Or in another country.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:19:35 PM PDT

  •  America's #1 online service (0+ / 0-)

    I bet the whizzes at American Online, better known to us tech savvy types, as "AOL", could have banged this health care thingy out in a jiffy!  Why, they could have even had "chat" rooms on it! yippppppe!

    I think I still have one of those disks they used to mail out by the jillions, I will pack it up and mail it to the Whitehouse.  

    Your Welcome, Mr. President.

  •  Amazing that (0+ / 0-)

    the Obama ran such a smooth and effective campaign on technology and the web. But this boondoggle cannot?

  •  something about this story, with the U.S. (0+ / 0-)

    government hiring a canadian software company.....this all sounds ripe to be turned somehow into a theme for a South Park know how those South Park guys like Canadians....

  •  Well, the $24 billion Republicans just tossed into (0+ / 0-)

    the shitter should be included in this conversation.

    And... the Prez should get a better software consultant.

    "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

    by ceebee7 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:49:03 PM PDT

  •  Here we go, dirty laundry and finger pointing.. (0+ / 0-)

    Wash Post: developers knew of problems after day one. Two thousand users crashed the system.'

    2,000, not millions.

    This is going to get bumpy.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:39:19 PM PDT

  •  Amazing that You are Using Same RW Term . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Fiasco" to describe the first two weeks of the rollout as McCain and other GOP concern trolls.

    Sure, the rollout hasn't been good, but it is far from being a "fiasco" as Marco Rubio has claimed.

    I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

    by kefauver on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:38:16 PM PDT

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